Western North Dakota Area Heath Education Center (AHEC)

The Western North Dakota AHEC (AHEC) works to recruit, educate and sustain health professionals in rural North Dakota. We are “Connecting students to careers, professionals to communities, and communities to better health.”

We are contracted with Mayville State University but housed in Hettinger, North Dakota. The Western North Dakota AHEC serves 25 counties.

Western North Dakota AHEC Staff

Denise AndressDenise Andress, RN
Director, Western North Dakota AHEC
(701) 637-0178

Denise is a Registered Nurse of 25 years. She is currently the Director for the Western Area Health Education Center for North Dakota. A native of Hettinger, North Dakota, Denise has an extensive background in rural healthcare delivery. In her position, she develops programs to recruit and retain healthcare providers in underserved rural areas, as well as address workforce shortages and educate students about healthcare career options. Denise received her Bachelor's degree in Nursing in 1992 at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. She has completed her Master's in Business Administration with a healthcare emphasis from the University of Mary in Bismarck.

"Having lived and worked in rural communities, survival of our communities is dependent on programs such as AHEC. Programs such as these improve the human infrastructure of our communities through education and resources that keep our rural communities viable."

Katie Shahan
Education/Program Coordinator, Western North Dakota AHEC
North Dakota State Advisor, HOSA Future Health Professionals

(701) 637-0178
PO Box 615 109, South Main Street
Hettinger, ND 58639

Katie ShahanKatie Shahan is the Project Education Coordinator for the Western Area Health Education Center for North Dakota with her main focus as the North Dakota HOSA - Future Health Professionals State Advisor. In her current position, she works to fill the pipeline with tomorrow's workforce by enhancing the delivery of compassionate, quality healthcare by providing opportunities for knowledge, skills and leadership development for health science students in the state. Katie has a Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Montana and Bachelor's of Science in Nursing from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Katie is on the Hettinger Chamber of Commerce board and Vice President of Adams County Healthy Community. She is an advocate of healthy living and creating opportunities for our rural communities.